Optical Limits: Tokina atx-m 56mm f/1.4 Review

Tokina atx-m 56mm f/1.4: Amazon / Adorama /B&H Photo
Tokina atx-m 33mm f/1.4:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Tokina atx-m 23mm f/1.4: B&H Photo / AmazonAdorama

The Tokina atx-m 56mm f/1.4 has been very difficult to find since its launch with Adorama being the main US retailer to have the lens in stock. There is also a UK retailer on Amazon US selling one lens at the moment. That being said Optical limits posted their full review here, but oddly didn’t come to a conclusion about optical quality because they just started using the 26Mp sensor in Fujiflm X cameras.

The Tokina atx-m 56mm f/1.4 X is a very capable lens in this lens class… In terms of sharpness, it can deliver where it counts the most for such a lens – in the broader image center. The borders and corners are soft at f/1.4 and f/2 but beyond they are pretty decent and really sharp at medium aperture settings. Lateral CAs, as well as image distortions, are on a moderate level albeit you can spot them in critical scenes. Vignetting can be spotted at f/1.4 but it’s not disturbing. Thus while the lens has no correction profile, it’s not a showstopper.

As far as the soft criteria are concerned – the quality of the bokeh is certainly a strength of this lens. Out-of-focus highlights are very clean at f/1.4 and remain circular except in the far corners. The general blur rendition is also smooth. On the downside, axial CAs (bokeh fringing) can be noticeable at large apertures. In difficult scenes with harsh contrast you may also stumble across purple fringing.

The mechanical quality is surprisingly high thanks to an all-metal body, a smooth control ring, and internal focusing. It doesn’t feature any weather sealing though. The AF is both speedy and noiseless.

Overall, Tokina did many things right – and that’s for less than half the price of the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 R – so if you are on a budget the lens can make a lot of sense. It’s also a little more compact and lightweight. You may argue that it’s possible to save a few bucks by going for the similar Viltrox 56mm f/1.4 but keep in mind that Tokina is a better-known brand with service centers available in major countries at least.

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